Friday, June 30, 2006

Final Swim Meet

Last night was our final swim meet for the season. It was a tough meet between 2 very evenly matched teams. We did finally win, but it was quite in doubt until the announcement. We won 332 to 310.

A is still working on learning to dive:

He also needs to work on getting off the blocks a bit sooner. A didn't have a particularly good meet last night - I don't know why, but he was slower in all 3 events than his best times, by multiple seconds (up to 20 sec slower in one case).

M had a better outing, but still mixed. M did really well on his breast stroke. He beat his best time by almost 2 sec. He just barely missed placing 3rd (out of 6) in his age group. His time was 0.1 sec slower than the 3rd place finisher, 0.25 sec slower than 2nd and less than 1 sec slower than the boy who won. Just a little bit faster would do it - and the easiest place to fix that is probably to dive closer to the surface. He knows he needs to work on the dive, but says its hard. There's always next year... and next year, maybe the dive will matter less, as the 11 and up's do 2 lengths of the pool.

M's long free, on the other hand, was 10 sec slower than his best time.

Here is A with Baby Bob, the Marlin.

They both look pretty happy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Meow-in, Meow-out

The cats have their own ways of letting us know its time to let them in. Miss P likes to jump onto the horizontal bar of the screen door, making it thump, and letting us know she's there. Mr. S would prefer to hang on the screen of the window.

We've been thinking for a while of getting some sort of cat door.

The need is 2-fold:
1. Let the cats in/out to get food when we are out of town
2. let the cats let themselves out instead of waking us up at 5 am (when we could be sleeping in).

We had one all picked out and a location too. Just beside the back door. But when we asked our current handyman, he said it probably wouldn't work there because of the size of the space and the necessary studs.

So, on to plan B. We debated a cat door in the garage, but then that would mean needing a cat door also from the garage to the house.

We thought about a door through the wall or window in the basement... might work, but would be harder to train the cats, as they are not used to getting in down there.

For plan C, we found a company that makes a cat door for sliding doors/windows. AHA. Just what we need. Only, it takes 10-12 business days to make and we are going out of town before that. So, next thought - make a temporary cat door in the window, out of a board. We got a board, cut a hole in it and stuck in temporarily in the window.

Guess what? the cats knew immediately what it was for. Unfortunately the bugs came in too, so we lowered the blinds. No problem say the cats. They've already been in and out the window several times tonight, pushing aside the blind and hopping from window sill to deck railing. We're planning on adding a ledge outside the window, but the cats seem to manage fine without it.

Both cats seem to have gotten the hang of the door. Ms. P is trying out the door here.

I used duct tape to narrow the door a little (to the same dimensions the permanent door will be) and the cats did just fine. Then I added a flap of material to try to keep the bugs out a bit - and to make it closer to what the real door will be like.

We WILL be ordering a permanent door soon, so that it will arrive not long after we return from vacation. That way the cats can continue letting themselves in and out (and in and out, etc) without letting the heat and bugs in.

In the meantime, this should work to let the cats come in to eat, without leaving them stuck inside (and trying to escape when the neighbor comes to feed them).

Monday, June 26, 2006

The kids have forgotten how to...

... wash their hair. When they "washed" their hair
Friday, they both had rather suspiciously dry hair at the end of the
bath. So, tonight I had to give a refresher course.

1. You must get your hair WET before adding shampoo.
2. You must use enough shampoo to make a LATHER.
3. You must rinse all the shampoo OUT of your hair.

So, last night I had them wash their hair again - under supervision, much to M's disgust. I told them to call me when they had shampoo in their hair, so I could see it. And correct their technique. sigh. A claimed he didn't remember that his hair needed to be wet BEFORE adding shampoo. And they both seemed to think that a tiny dab would do it (nope, that's the right amount for toothpaste - you need more for hair washing).

Just when I thought baths were a matter of saying "go take a bath" and I didn't have to participate... it seems I still need to supervise or at least check.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blackberries are addictive

No, not the fancy internet devices. Just good old-fashioned wild blackberries. Yumm. A and I went blackberry picking behind his school this morning. There were plenty of ripe berries - and even plenty within his reach. There seem to be 2 different varieties that grow there - one is small and puny and the other has big luscious berries. Guess which ones we picked?

The big ones fill your bucket so much faster. In about 45 minutes, we picked at least a half gallon. Then tonight after dinner, we had a blackberry cobbler. Oh joy, oh bliss. I love cobbler. D made a quick grocery run for vanilla ice cream to go with it. A declared it most delicious, but M didn't even want to try it. Bah. How can he not appreciate it? Oh well, all the more for the rest of us!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Geocaching with Wolves

D got a GPS for his birthday and has been working at loading up maps. It didn't want to save as big a map as he wanted, but we do have local maps at least.

Tuesday he went to a local park to try to find a geocache. No luck. So on Wednesday, he took M and they went looking again. This time they had better luck (and didn't have to dodge the chainsaws). So on Thursday, I called all the Wolf Scouts and invited them to come geocaching with us Sat. morning.

9am Sat
Bring water and LOTS of bug spray

All 5 told me that they would be there, but at almost 9:30, only 2 boys were there. I don't know what happened to the others, but I wish I had known so we didn't have to wait around.

Anyway, D gave a quick guide to the GPS and off we went. Through the woods, under the power line and back into the woods on the other side. We were heading for a cache at the far end of the park (that M and D had located on Wed), when the boy operating the GPS said "hey, there's one right near here!" Well, yes, fairly near. The boys wanted to go hunting, so off we went into the brush.

The "right near here" turned out to be 150 ft through underbrush, but that doesn't deter 7 yo boys! And then while we were tracking and hunting, they found bones. Of course, one asked "are these human bones?" Um, NO. Deer bones. First M and another boy found leg bones.

Then A found a skull. Cool!, they all declared.

Then finally we found the cache:
There were all sorts of interesting things in there. I had brought a bunch of little items so that each boy could retrieve an item from the cache and we would have something to put in there. They each found something fun - a little car, a DVD of cartoons (M), and some other stuff. We left refrigerator magnets, Mardi Gras beads and another little car. I took a cute little figure with a tracking tag, figuring it would be fun to see where it had been and to follow it later. That little figure was more interesting and appropriate than we could have guessed! *(see below)

Then we backtracked back to the trail and headed off to the next cache. Along the way we found some nice ripe blackberries, which we had to try. The other mom and I kept stopping to sample them. I wish I had thought to bring a milk jug to pick them into. A and I are going to go picking at our elementary school some morning soon.

Anyway, soon enough we found that the direction pointed us off the trail again, so we went off through the underbrush (much easier this time) and found the second cache.

M put in an extra item for the fact that he had taken a knife when the found it the first time (and neither D nor I had thougt about packing a trinket).

* We tracked our figure to here: It seems that this figure is Scout Olave, Lord Baden-Powell's wife, and is interesting in Scouts and Scouting. How fun to have a group of Cub Scouts pick her up. We've debated sending her to Webelos encampment with M next month, but we don't think there are any geocaches at the camp, so she may go to her next cache home on our vacation to Ohio.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


We had another swim meet tonight, only the weather was not very cooperative. We got started on time, but in the middle of the medley relays (the second set of events), it started to thunder. OK, everyone out of the water. Start the timer.... but every time it thunders again the clock gets reset. After about a half hour of this and the appearance of lightning, the meet is called. Not to be rescheduled. I don't have much of a life in the summer outside of kids (its debatable if I do the rest of the year, but that's another issue...), so it would have been ok with me to reschedule for Friday night or Sat morning or pretty much whenever.

At least both kids got to swim one event. One of M's classmates didn't end up getting in the pool at all. She was late for warmups and then hadn't been scheduled to swim one of those 2 events.

A swam a 50 yard freestyle, for the first time this year (in a meet). He was slow (the kid in first place finished the race about the same time A made it half-way), but much improved over last year. He went from 2 min 46 sec to 2 min 17 sec. Took off 29 seconds. That's an accomplishment. And even better, from his point of view, he came in 3rd (of 3) so he'll get a nice white 3rd place ribbon as well as his best time ribbon.

M swam breast in a medley relay (where each kid swims a different stroke). M did well, making up a good bit of time and bringing his relay back to neck-and-neck with the other relay. His breast is really improving.

The other disappointment is baseball related - Rice lost tonight. Sigh. 23 consecutive scoreless innings over the last 3 games. They didn't score at all against the Oregon Beavers, in 2 games. So Oregon will go on to play UNC for the College World Series. It was fun to cheer them on - we listened over the internet tonight.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

ribbons and wires

The kids got their ribbons this morning - 3 best time ribbons each (they swim 3 individual events). I was amazed. I had to ask, "is their pool shorter than ours?" I was assured that it is the same length. I'm still not quite sure I believe it. I'm also not sure I believe that A didn't DQ in breast, but they say he didn't and 5 other kids in his event did, so they were calling DQ's. But, whatever. Maybe they swam well because they had so much competition. One of M's events had 6 heats. 22 kids all swimming one length of freestyle. No wonder the meet lasted so long. I'm so happy that none of the other teams are that large. Our next meet is against a very small team. They will likely all be very good swimmers, but, in this case, quality can't beat quantity (at least not when you don't have enough swimmers to field relay teams). Our team has some very good swimmers too, plus a number of only fair swimmers.

I finally did something I've been meaning to do - I created a chart of the kids swim times. It was interesting to see how often and by how much they are bettering their times. A took 10 seconds off his time for breast. Maybe that shows that he's faster when he's swimming it correctly?

M had a dreaded orthodontist apt today. It was especially dreaded because we thought he was going to have his upper expander removed - it has become a bit embedded into the roof of his mouth. It will probably hurt to have it removed and he knows that. But they said they couldn't remove it today, they still need the brackets in the back. They have re-chained his top teeth together since they were drifting apart a bit and creating a space. On the bottom, they finally put in a wire all the way from side to side to help pull his 4 front bottom teeth into the proper arch-type shape (instead of straight flat across). He's supposed to go back in 4 weeks to get the upper expander removed and have impressions made for permanent type retainers (wire fixed behind the teeth) - just like D.

An amusing note from the orthodontists - they tried to give me an extra kid! I was sitting there reading a magazine waiting on M to be called back to the chair and the Dr looked at me and called mom. I thought maybe he wanted to show me something on another kid that was similar to M, so I walked over. He was getting ready to explain what this kid needed when I said, "you know, this isn't my kid", just as another Dr said, "no, wrong mom". We all got a chuckle out of it, and so did the assistants and receptionist.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Another Swim Meet

We had another meet tonight - our first against a team larger than ours. It was a LONG meet, with so many swimmers and only 4 lanes to swim in. Their pool actually has 6 lanes, but the 2 outside lanes have stairs protruding into them, so they can't use those lanes for racing. We had numerous events where they ran 4 or 5 heats - up to 18 swimmers in one event, like 9/10 boys 25 yd freestyle. In most meets we have an occasional event that will have 3 heats, but most have 2 at most. It was after 9:30 by the time we were done tonight.

I was pleasantly surprised by the score; it was a closer meet than I would have guessed. We lost 330 to 280, but given that they had almost twice as many swimmers there (and a bunch of really good swimmers), I had not expected it to be that close.

Both kids swam freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke. M didn't complain about swimming back tonight. I think he's finally realized that he needs to swim 3 individual events. It looked pretty good too. His breast looked nice also. I didn't see anything wrong - I hope he didn't DQ tonight.

A's breast also looked better, but still not correct. It looks like he's getting much closer though.

They'll find out tomorrow how they did. I'll probably find out before they do, as I'll likely be labeling ribbons in the morning while they are practicing.

Oh, and while we were out swimming, Rice beat Miami 3-2 to continue at the College World Series. Go RICE!! Miami will play Oregon State tomorrow. Then on Wed, Rice will play the winner of that game.

What kind of English Do You Speak?

I saw this on another blog and thought it looked interesting. So I decided to try it.

Your Linguistic Profile::
60% General American English
30% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern
0% Yankee

(Click above if you want to take the quiz.)

I was especially interested to see that I speak very little midwestern. And 30% Dixie. Yet people NEVER guess that I was born and raised in GA. I also would have guessed that General American English was about the same as midwestern.

Happy Father's Day

We had a rather quiet father's day yesterday. We went out to pick blueberries in the morning - shocking the kids by not going to church. M said, "but the only time we don't go to church is when we're out of town". Well, not quite, but almost.

They had just had an article about U-pick places in our paper, so I knew the berries should be ripe. It was just too nice a morning not to go - it was still pleasantly cool and we didn't have to worry about getting home in time for swim practice. So off we went. We got a gallon of berries (and plenty of tastes).

I would walk up to a bush and taste a berry. Some of the varieties are sweeter than others, so I wanted sweet berries. Often I would sample 2 or 3 bushes before I found a good one. Then I would pick all the ripe berries on that bush. Then repeat. We probably picked for about 45 min to fill our gallon. The kids have gotten to be reasonably good pickers, but they get tired after 20-30 min.

Earlier in the year, they were excited about the idea of picking berries and selling them at a profit. I don't know if they are still interested after remembering what picking is like. Hmm. We'll see.

D requested hamburgers for dinner, so we had those and fresh blueberry muffins. Yumm.

After dinner, D opened the gifts the kids had made at church (and one from school for A). I think this was the first year either kid has made a father's day gift at school, while they always make mother's day gifts. A had made a book of "things I like to do with my dad". It was cute.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Yeah Rice!

Rice 6, UGA 4 What more do I need to say?

A and I wore our Rice shirts and I found a pom-pom (from a long-ago Rice-LSU football game, which did not have nearly the desired outcome). We periodically switched over to watch USA-Italy play soccer (also a good game). The 7th inning was quite something to see. Rice was up 2-0 at the end of the 6th. Then UGA scored 4, chasing our starting pitcher (who had been pitching a no-hitter). At the middle of the 7th it was then 4-2 for UGA. Then in the bottom of the inning Rice bounced back with 4 of their own runs to make it 6-4 Rice. I had read that UGA's set-up and closer were extremely good pitchers with very low ERA, but somehow the Rice batters hit them better than the starting pitcher. Hmm.

It will be interesting to read the stories in the paper in the morning. I imagine we'll get better coverage of this game than of the next. They're playing again Monday night - but I bet we won't get to watch much of that game. Swim meet that night also.

Interesting tidbit - one player managed to get hit by a pitch 3 times tonight. Ouch. He has now been hit by a pitch 22 times this season. Yikes. They commented that he must have a target on his arm.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Rice will be playing in the College World Series in Omaha tomorrow. Go OWLS go. You can read more about it here: Rice will be playing UGA, so we'll even get plenty of details about it in the paper tomorrow and Sunday. We're adjourning to my mom's to watch the game on her cable. I'll have to dig out our Rice shirts so we can properly cheer them on!


At swim practice this morning, the kids picked up their ribbons. M had a best time for butterfly and for IM. That means that he did NOT DQ. Amazing! He was sure he had (I thought maybe he hadn't). He still hates butterfly, but he CAN do it. I wonder whether the coach will now put him in the medly relay doing fly??? Unfortunately, M did DQ in breast stroke. Hmmm. Doing the scissor kick instead of a frog kick. He needs to fix that as he loves breast and is fairly competitive at it.

A got a best time in backstroke, cutting about a half second off his time. He was happy about that. He took his DQ's in butterfly and breast completely in stride.

Then it was time to sign up for events for Monday's meet. Long free isn't an event on Monday, so M had to choose another event to go with breast and free. I suggested he could do fly or IM, but he quickly chose backstroke. All of a sudden, its less threatening than it was on Monday night.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pentathalon swim meet

Tonight was officially a bye night on our swim team schedule, but our team scheduled a "pentathalon meet" - where each kid could swim every event, instead of the usual limit of 3 individual events. The idea was to get all the kids to try all the strokes and see how they would do - in meet conditions. ie, they were racing other kids and the stroke/turn judge was watching to see if they were doing the stroke correctly. Last year M didn't want to try to do butterfly and the coach let him out of it. This year, she basically told all of them that they needed to try. So, M tried. And he did fairly well. I didn't see any big huge obvious reasons to DQ on butterfly, but he might have. He also did the IM (individual medley), where he had to swim 4 lengths, one of each stroke. It is a long, tiring event, but HE DID IT! Yeah!

A even tried the butterfly. His was not so correct-looking, but he made it all the way down the length of the pool, so in that way it was a success. Way to go A.

At the end of the meet, they tallied up total times for all the kids and announced winners in each age group, sort of like the pentathalon in track.

While they were tallying times, they had a parent vs coach relay. D and I both swam in the parent relays. D had signed me up and I really saw no reason not to swim, though many parents weren't willing. Only thing - our kids didn't bother to watch us swim! What?? I had thought that they wanted to see how we would do. One of M's friend's didn't really believe that his mom and I were really going to swim.

Photos from Scout camp

I got some pictures in my email today from A's den leader from camp. She had taken several pictures the day the Black Hawk helicopter came to visit. Here's A's Wolf den in front of the helicopter.

Then each kid got to sit in the cockpit. Wow. How amazing was that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kitchen and Outdoor Plumbing work

The handymen came back today and did some more stuff. They changed out the switchplates and outlets over the countertops for white ones - and we have 3 GFI's now (the other outlets are on the same circuit as another GFI).

They also put up the new light over the sink. Hoorah. No more doing dishes in the dim anymore - hmm, I guess I don't have any excuses for dirty dishes after dinner now...

You can't really see the extra lighting, but believe me, its there. You can see, however, that they installed tile up the side of the window - those are small bits of tile. I think it looks nicer than paint would have (and its DONE. NOW.) There are even smaller pieces of tile under the window (you can see that a little in the first picture). There was a LOT of tile cutting going on!

The big thing they accomplished today was (dah, dah, dum...) replacing the polybutylene (aka leaky blue plastic) pipe running from the meter to the house. We've been seeing neighbor after neighbor have theirs replaced in the last year or two and figured our time was coming. We wanted to get ours replaced before we got a multi-thousand dollar water bill (like one friend). I figured it was leaking when I noticed our water bill creeping up. Luckily we got it before it was a crisis. Ours had a slow leak, but hadn't geysered yet.... When they dug up the end near the meter, they had a very small geyser, right before they shut off the water - evidently removing the dirt allowed the water to spurt a bit.

They cut about 4" of the driveway to bury the new pipe. They said that they could have bored under the driveway but it would be 1. more expensive and 2. possibly undermine the driveway. The new pipe is all in and working but they couldn't pour new concrete today as it was dripping (and threatening to pour) most of the day. They are supposed to come back on Monday (after a short vacation for them) to finish up various things - pouring concrete, caulking, installing the stove hood, installing electricity on the island. It is nice to have this much done already and it will be even nicer to have all these things done.

2nd swim meet

The second swim meet was last night. It went much faster than the first, partly because the other team was smaller this time (both teams were significantly smaller than ours) and because the first team hadn't run a swim meet before. The meet was at home this time, which means that "Bob" was there. Who's Bob you might ask? Well, here's big Bob with M:

And then of course, A had to pose with big Bob:

There's a little Bob also, but he was running around elsewhere last night. Bob only attends home meets. He must not like to travel...

Here's A swimming, I think freestyle, but it might be breast stroke - its hard to say, he looks about the same when he's breathing. A had a good meet, but he's still figuring out how to do the breast stroke properly. He DQ'd last night due to his kick.

M wasn't too happy that he got signed up for backstroke last night. He didn't want to do it, but I "convinced" (err bribed/threatened with a bit of candy) him to swim it. And guess what, he did fine - he got a best time ribbon for taking almost 10 seconds off his time from last year. Way to go M! I knew he could do it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

kitchen tile

We're finally making more progress on the kitchen! D and I had picked out tile over Spring Break, but hadn't gotten it then as we hadn't known how much we needed. Then we had trouble remembering to measure when we had time and were at home. The kitchen has been looking like this for too long:

We found out that one of the swim team dads does tile work and got him and his buddy to come recently. On Friday morning they prepped the wall.

Even just that looked better.
Then on Saturday afternoon, they laid the tile. We're really glad that they suggested staggering the tile. We think it looks really nice.

I can't tell in the pictures if these are before or after they grouted the tile, but they came and did that this afternoon. Tomorrow they will come and caulk as needed. I think they are going to re-install the hood too. It turns out that our friend is a licensed electrician and his buddy is a licensed plumber, so between them they can do all the various bits of this job. Plus some other odd jobs that we've been needing done.

Friday, June 09, 2006

1st swim meet

(edited - I've been trying to get these pictures here for days. Finally I tricked the computer into letting me, but not before I crashed Netscape at least 5 times!)

M is ready to go!

Last night was our first swim meet of the year. The kids were excited. M swam freestyle, long free (2 lengths) and breast stroke. He has obviously improved since last year, even with only 4 days of practice this summer. His breast looks very nice, even without much glide. I thought he had finished 2nd in breast, though when I picked up ribbons this morning, he had a 3rd. M was fine with it though. "I like the white ribbons," he said. It was also a personal best, beating his best time for last year by a good 3 seconds. In freestyle, his times improved even more - he is starting to get the hang of rotary (side) breathing. He took 3 seconds off his 25 yd freestyle also and 16 seconds off his 50 yd freestyle. Wow. We don't have to worry that there is no room for further improvement though, so there should be more personal best ribbons in future meets.
He still is working on his freestyle kick - you can see here that its a bit like he's trying to push the water instead of flutter-kicking:

A has improved since last year also. He got personal bests in freestyle and backstroke, compared to last year. He took about 16 seconds off his 25 yd freestyle - he's doing much better at keeping his face in the water except when breathing. He also got a personal best in breast - the first time he has swum it in a meet (its not an official event for 6 year olds, so he didn't swim it last year). He really should have been disqualified because he didn't have a 2-hand touch at the end, but the stroke & turn judge didn't want to disqualify the little kids for anything but really major. I'll ask the coach to look at A's kick to see if he really is doing it correctly or if he needs to adjust it a bit. M DQ'd almost every time on breast his first year, so I'll be a bit surprised if A's stroke really is correct (pleased, but surprised).
A is also working on his backstroke - he really has to work to keep himself horizontal in the water. Here he is having a bit of trouble with it - not getting his head back.

But by the end of the lap he was doing much better - his head was back and his feet were closer to the surface of the water.

A and his buddies are getting ready for a relay here.

hairstyles and camera play

A's been getting more interested in "doing something" with his hair lately. After a bath, he decided he wanted to spike his hair:

He looks rather like Thing 1 (or maybe Thing 2) from the Cat in the Hat if you ask me. He was quite intruigued with the look, but didn't keep it.
Then for fun, I decided to try out some of the camera settings. Here is another picture of the same, only in black & white.

Then I thought I'd try sepia on M. Doing his favorite activity, of course.

It does give some interesting looks.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A surprise from camp

When the kids came home from camp yesterday, they dumped their bags on the floor while they went to hang up the wet towels outside. All well and good, but why is the cat so interested in A's bag?

I wondered if it smelled like ham sandwich - the cat had been very interested in the lunch bags one morning when I put them on the floor at the top of the stairs (and then quickly moved them back to the counter).
I dug into the bag and found... a lizard sitting in A's hat!
M picked up the lizard to examine it.

Then he let the lizard examine his book.

Oh, and the most exciting thing at camp yesterday was the army helicopter that came to visit and landed in the baseball field. Big. Loud. Exciting. Way cool for elementary school boys. As we were driving home, NPR mentioned something about a helicopter and A exclaimed "that's the helicopter we saw today!" I think it was a Black Hawk.

Another tooth gone

A's 2nd front baby tooth has been loose for a while. Here he is trying to poke it out to show how loose. (click on the image if you want a better view).

So, I wasn't surprised when I picked him up from camp yesterday to hear that it was really loose - like hanging by a thread loose. As we're pulling out, I got a running commentary.

A: Look, I can turn my tooth around.
me: Oh my.
A: Look, now I can turn it all the way around
me: yes, amazing
A: Guess what?
me: Did your tooth come out?
A: No, but I can make it go diagonal.
me: Wow.
A: (a few minutes later) It came out.
me: I'm not surprised. I figured it wouldn't make it til dinner.

It's just as well it came out on the drive or I would probably be showing you a picture of a tooth hanging by a thread (and its not a very pretty image). But instead you get the toothless grin. There is plenty of space there for the new tooth, luckily. And its already peeking through the gum.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

more camp and a special dinner

Another day of camp today. A got a chance to play in the sandpile today and proclaimed that the best activity. M said his favorite was woodworking, where he built a stool. Sounds like a good time was had by all. A brought home his shorts and underwear that had been lost yesterday. I would guess that they fell into the pool yesterday - they were sopping wet! They had been in a grocery bag, wrapped up in his towel and I would guess that as he grabbed the towel, the bag of clothes fell into the pool - or something like that. M's clothes haven't shown up yet, so I suppose a trip to the lost & found is in order.

We finally got to enjoy D's birthday dinner tonight. His first choice restaurant had been closed on his birthday, so we went tonight (not being a Sunday or Monday they were open). We called first to make sure, though. It is NOT a health food restaurant - virtually everything is fried. Though not everything as M and A pointed out - we did not have fried water or fried salad. Or slaw (which seemed to be cabbage and pickles). M's grilled cheese wasn't fried either, but its still high fat. D had perch, like his dad had when we took them there on a visit - hmm, maybe 2 1/2 years ago. D says its still good. My mom had small catfish - she had forgotten that the catfish would likely not be fillets as well as the trick to filleting them before you eat. It reminded me of learning this trick from my parents when I was about 12 and quite surprised at "all those bones" in my fish. I had a seafood platter, which I knew would be too much food, but it was the only way I saw to get deviled crab. It was delicious! So was the rest of my meal, but the crab was the best - and that's saying something knowing how much I love shrimp. The big shrimp were great and the popcorn shrimp were a bonus (the menu didn't mention them). A had trouble deciding between the popcorn shrimp and the catfish strips. He ended up ordering the shrimp and loved them. I gave him a bit of my catfish strip and he loved it too. He even enjoyed my oyster (I don't like oysters - never have - but I don't eat them anymore after the time one disagreed strongly with me). A very enjoyable evening for all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Cub Scout Day Camp

Today was the first day of day camp. Both boys had a good time. The weather is beautiful - warm, but not hot - upper 70's. M says his favorite activity was building a sandcastle. A said his was waterplay (supersoakers and such). They also went swimming. A was all excited because he knew at least 3 other boys there - one from our pack and 2 from school were in his den.
I dropped them off this morning - a few minutes late - I thought dropoff was at 8. No, it was between 7:30 and 8. They were there before 8:05 though. Camp was over at 3 and D picked them up this afternoon around 3:15. "You're late" says M. "We're the last car riders." I didn't think that they could load all the kids in 15 minutes, but evidently they did. I guess we need to move things up a bit tomorrow.
Tomorrow we also get to go on the hunt for their clothes! They were supposed to wear their swimsuits and take shorts and underwear - which they did. BUT, somehow they both lost their shorts and underwear. I called the camp director this afternoon and he said they will hunt for it tomorrow. I hope it is floating around camp somewhere.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Good eating today

Men's group at church cooked breakfast - yumm. D was on French toast duty. I had a piece of that as well as some eggs, bacon, grits and a biscuit. Oh and some fresh fruit.
Then after church it was the church picnic for Pentecost. D got roped into cooking for that also - hotdogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers. Plus everyone brought a dish. My contribution - my old standby, boxed mac&cheese. It's something I know M will eat. I have seen M go through a buffet line too many times, ending up with chips and a brownie on his plate and nothing else. So, I whip up the mac&cheese and know that he will have something else to eat. I think he was a bit full from breakfast, though, as he didn't eat much lunch (and of course, then was hungry an hour after we came home). I wasn't SO hungry at lunch either, so I ate a small lunch and managed just fine til dinner. I do hope that breakfast and lunch at church don't overlap again anytime soon. I enjoy both, but I'd rather spread out my enjoyment.
I just realized that I failed in my supervisory duties this morning - I forgot to watch him at the bacon station - he's been known to take 7 pieces at once. Umm, NO, that's too much. I know he likes, no, LOVES, bacon, but that's just too much.
In a little bit here, or whenever M declares he's hungry, he'll be finxing us dinner - spaghetti. He wanted to cook spaghetti a few nights ago when we were having chicken taco soup, but... no. He had to try the meal we had. But I had told him then that he could cook us all spaghetti one night soon. And tonight was the night.

It was quite good. We told him that the next dinner he cooks needs to be something other than Italian (or at least other than pasta). He'll get another dinner duty in a week or two.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Sofa

We got our new sofa today. One of the teachers at D's school is moving to Wyoming and selling off various pieces of furniture. D was the first one to respond about the sofa and we liked it when we saw it, so its our now. We got 2 college-age sons of a friend to help us move the old sofa to the basement and get the new sofa and put it in place. I really like the way it looks. The old sofa was barely off-white and didn't stand out against the wall enough. Oh, and its a sleeper too, so that's a plus if we ever need it. Both kids would like to try it out, so we may do that at some point too.

Swim Team Practice

Swim Team practice finally started this week. The water is actually warm enough to feel good too, amazingly enough.
A is still working on trying to keep his body horizontal in the water as you can see here. He was doing a bit better at the end of last year, but its been a long time since August (less time, but still a while since swim lessons in December).

I didn't manage to catch M swimming, but they did tread water for a while. M is the one center front, blowing bubbles. M loves to tread. Last year he won an award for best treader in the 10 and under set.

The kids will miss practice next week when they have Cub Scout day camp, so I worked with them for a few minutes at the pool this afternoon. Both worked on their freestyle kicks and M worked on rotary (side) breathing. Tonight D and I were discussing A's stroke and thinking that it might be easier to work on side breathing with him also - rather than just trying to decrease the amount of time he pops his head up to breathe. We'll see...